Tough period for Nairobi women as tampon shortage hits


Tampons and pads used during a menstrual cycle. Photo/COURTESY
Tampons and sanitary pads used during a menstrual cycle. Photo/COURTESY

In Summary

  • According to supermarket retailers, the scarcity of the product has so far lasted 6 months. The situation being linked to the recalling of the products, after it failed to meet its quality standards.
  • But just in case you find yourself between a rock and a hard place, the menstrual cup, which is yet to be fully embraced in the market, is another option.
  • In the meantime, making an online order has become the solution to many women, which in turn has increased the expense of having the product.

Is it a tough period for Kenyan women? Well, the tampon shortage in the market has left many women wondering how such a basic product could just go missing.

The tampon shortage believed to have so far lasted for six months eliciting different reactions from many who do not understand why the buzz about its shortage.

It was a post by a Twitter user identified as Scheaoffer Okore on January 8, 2018 that opened the floodgates of what now appears to be a trying time for some women in Kenya.

What then followed was a thread of tweets by women explaining the trouble they have been through in laying their hands on the basic and priceless product.

Tampons are designed to absorb menstrual flow by insertion into a woman’s private parts and usually made out of rayon or sometimes a blend of cotton and rayon materials.

Just like the ordinary sanitary towels they all come in different sizes corresponding the amount of liquid they can absorb. They include mini, regular, super or even super plus.

Many men seem not to understand the urgency this causes, but menstrual health is a very intimate part of a woman’s life.

“This is something very personal, it is not a luxury, for some the use of tampons is the only option…,” explains Dr. Nelly Bosire, an obstetrician gynecologist.

Tampons are usually the only option for a percentage of women owing to its flexibility that allows one to engage in activities and more so,  an option for those who get allergic reactions from ordinary sanitary towels.

“The material on ordinary pads react to many and it becomes hot and itchy so that is not an option. Tampons allow one to swim or even do sporting activities,” said Dr.Bosire.

According to supermarket retailers, the tampon shortage has so far lasted 6 months. The situation being linked to the recalling of the products, after it failed to meet its quality standards.

But just in case you find yourself between a rock and a hard place, the menstrual cup, which is yet to be fully embraced in the market, is another option.

In the meantime, making an online order has become the solution to many women, which in turn has increased the expense of having the product.

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Story By Raquel Muigai
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